Maximizing Youth Potential

Run by a group of dedicated volunteers Junior Maximize Youth Potential (MYP) creates an educational and social support system for vulnerable children and young adults.

Maximizing youth potential.

Maximizing youth potential.

Junior Maximize Youth Potential, an off-shoot of the MYP program for young adults, is a program spearheaded by Agence Ometz that focuses on engaging and supporting children from families who are living in poverty, have recently immigrated, are dealing with abuse, coping with mental illness or other challenges. Run largely by a group of dedicated volunteers – mostly college students— the program is overseen by a team of professional coordinators and supervisors.

The Jr. MYP program is designed to provide a safe and welcoming space for children from grades 3-6, and runs four evenings a week after school. After a snack and some casual conversation about their day, children are able to sit down one-on-one with volunteers to tackle their homework. Following homework time, volunteers help coordinators run a variety of fun activities. Physical activities are also offered when facilities are available. Before heading home, volunteers, coordinators and participants all share a hot, nutritious meal together, provided through Federation CJA’s Tikun Olam Volunteers.

“One of our purposes was to create family time for their kids, so that when they arrive home they’ve done their homework, had dinner,” explained Junior MYP supervisor Carol Liverman.  “It helps the parents too, who don’t have to worry about helping with homework or even feeding the kids… they can all just be together, and enjoy being together.”

“We spend our time in Jr. MYP helping elementary school  kids with their homework; helping them find solutions to trouble they may have in their school work or in other areas of life,” explained volunteer Olivia Faulconbridge. “The concept behind the program is to create an environment in which kids can build relationships with peers and positive role models.”

As a co-coordinator of the program along with Justin Rudick, Tamara Schwager can see firsthand how valuable the volunteers are to the success of the MYP programs. “Our volunteers are really the heartbeat of the program, because they bring their energy and expertise to the sessions and make the activities come alive. Without our volunteers’ help and devotion to the children, we would not be able to foster and maintain the meaningful relationships that we achieve together.”

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the MYP program.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the MYP program.

MYP volunteers come from a wide variety of places, often being referred to the program by their professors or as a part of their fieldwork. Some volunteers choose to help out in the program because it provides them with a sense of connection to their community or an opportunity to give back to future generations. Nathan Friedman, who found out about the program through an online search for volunteer opportunities, says that the reason he got involved as a volunteer with Jr MYP this year was because “it seemed like a great way to use my tutoring skills to give back to the community. I’m rewarded by seeing progress in the children I’ve spent time with.”

“This program is life altering for us as role models because we can see firsthand how much the children grow and develop with our help,” concludes Schwager. “No matter what kind of day you have had, walking into the MYP program and seeing children so excited to be with you is an amazingly rewarding and meaningful experience.”

  • Dr Oro Librowicz says:

    Je suis professeure récemment retraitée de l’Université de Montréal et souhaiterais faire du bénévolat pour aider les jeunes dans leurs devoirs. Pourriez-vous me dire à qui je dois m’adresser ou encore me contacter directement par courriel ou téléphone?

    Je parle couramment le français, l’anglais et l’espagnol et pourrais donc aider les enfants dans l’une de ces trois langues.

    Merci!

    Tél.: 514-482-9996

  • Dr Oro Librowicz says:

    Je suis professeure récemment retraitée de l’Université de Montréal et souhaiterais faire du bénévolat pour aider les jeunes dans leurs devoirs. Pourriez-vous me dire à qui je dois m’adresser ou encore me contacter directement par courriel ou téléphone?

    Je parle couramment le français, l’anglais et l’espagnol et pourrais donc aider les enfants dans l’une de ces trois langues.

    Merci!

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